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The Red Tent    by Anita Diamant order for
Red Tent
by Anita Diamant
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 1998 (1997)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio
* * *   Reviewed by G. Hall

The Red Tent is a very unusual, absolutely enthralling protrayal of the life of Dinah based on the biblical story in Genesis. Dinah is the daughter of Jacob and Leah, and the great-granddaughter of Abraham and Sarah. Dinah is mentioned only briefly in the Bible but the author has imagined her story and the tales of the lives of the women around her. In particular these are Jacob's four wives - Dinah's mothers Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah.

The Red Tent is where the women go during their menses and it is where they share their lives and their stories. The novel is a fascinating look at women's lives in the earliest days of the Hebrew people and shows how the women are able to sustain each other. It follows Dinah's life from her early days in the desert around Ur to Canaan and eventually to Thebes and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

Any reader, whether religious or not, will be drawn into Dinah's life and feel a real sense of regret at the end of the book.

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